Table 1: List of Concepts & Questions included in the Chemistry Misconceptions IdentificationInstrument
Concept Area Subtopic(whererelevant)Question No. Concept(s) beingtestedSource of QuestionsParticulate Natureof Matter
AtomicStructureQ7 Factors influencingionisation energiesTaber (2003); Tan &Taber 2009)ChemicalFormulae &EquationsQ5, Q6, Q11 Meaningfulconversions fromsymbolic tomicroscopicMulford & Robinson(2002)Phase Change Q3 Understanding of phase changeYezierski & Birk (2006); Sheehan(2010)Conservation Q4 Conservation of matterMulford & Robinson(2002)Composition of MatterQ1, Q2 Microscopic nature of atoms, elements,compounds andmixturesSanger (2000);Mulford & Robinson(2002)
Q13, Q14,Q15, Q16,Q20Process andenergetics of bonding,effect of bond typeand structure of ioniccompoundsDeveloped by author;Peterson & Treagust (1989); Mulford &Robinson (2002);Jensen (unpublished)
Q17, Q18 Dynamic nature of equilibrium and theequilibrium constant Krause
. (2004);Adapted for Journal of Chemical Educationwebsite
Preservice teachers who will receive a qualification to teach chemistry at the end of their courseof study were the target group for this study. Preservice teachers were invited to come to adrop-in centre to complete the instrument. In order to improve the response rate, theinstrument was later administered during lecture and laboratory slots in preservice teachers’timetables for all four years of the courses. There were 274 such candidates identified in theuniversity and 212 of these took part in the study giving a response rate of 77%. Responseswere analysed using Predictive Analytics Software (PASW).
Results & Analysis
The results grouped by concept area are shown in Table 2. The overall performance of preservice chemistry teachers was poor with an average score of 30.8%. Over 80% of thepreservice teachers taking part in the study achieved less than 40% on the overall instrument.The results are similar for each section of the instrument as shown in Table 2, with averagescores < 50%.